THE TRUE STORY OF THE FIRST VISTA REVIEW
OK, so I briefly mention it on-camera in this review, but I think it’s worthy of writing about what actually happened off-camera immediately prior to shooting the review.
I assure that I am writing this with no jokes or embellishment because it was so truly serious and bizarre that it needs neither of those things.
Ray, myself and our friend Cole (sometimes bonus people join us to shoot content because we’re super fun) were headed up to East Canyon to shoot this vista review on a Monday afternoon. The gate was closed so we decided to audible to Little Dell Reservoir, which was right next to the gate.
We pulled into the parking lot, and not 30 seconds after we got out of the car, a man popped out of a small black sedan parked next to us, approached Cole and asked to borrow his phone. The man had long brown hair, a shaggy beard and was wearing all white. He was covered in mud and was wearing no shoes.
Frankly, he looked disturbed.
Nonetheless, Cole, being a nice guy from Utah, decided to let him borrow his phone, and the man relatively calmly dialed a number and made a call. No one answered, and frustrated, he remarked, “typical.”
He handed Cole the phone back, and again, because he’s a nice guy from Utah, Cole asked him if there was anyone else he wanted to call.
In a nonchalant manner — as if he was suggesting that we go get some hot dogs or something — the guy goes “let’s call the cops!”
We all look at each other before Cole asked the man if he was OK.
“Not really, man,” the guy said. “I came up here to kill myself.”
Again we all look at each other, now clearly uncomfortable. A beat passes. Finally, Cole broke the silence, informing the man that we were up here to do some work and that we were going to walk away and go film the review.
We walked 100 yards down a paved path toward the water where we eventually filmed the review before we had a little conference. We decided to call Summit County PD (we didn’t even know what county we were actually in). 30 seconds into describing the situation, they told us to hang up and call 911, which we did.
At this point, as we are describing the situation to 911, the man in white has disappeared down a dirt path toward the water. There was, however, a homeless-looking hitchhiker who appeared to be taking a nap in the parking lot. Toward the end of the 911 call, the hitchhiker started walking across the parking lot toward us and eventually past us to sit on a bench directly in front of our car.
We were on the phone with 911 for about 15 minutes before a Canyon rescue cop showed up. We relayed what we knew to him, and about two minutes later, the man in white came ambling back up the dirt path and into the parking lot.
The cop asked him what was going on, to which he replied, “I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to take this from the truth angle.”
“That would be fabulous,” the cop answered.
“I just want to start by telling you I’m wicked smart,” the man began.
At this point, both Cole and Ray look at me, because the only person they’ve ever heard say wicked in any sort of serious manner is my New England ass.
The man continued.
“I’m so smart that sometimes I get caught up in these delusions. I can’t tell what’s real or what’s not. And now I’m concerned if I don’t get some help — I’m dangerous — I’ll hurt myself or someone else.”
The cop then asked him for some ID.
“I don’t have it,” he said. “I threw everything out of my car on the way up the canyon — I came up here to kill myself, you know.”
The cop asked him his name.
“Well, my name is Willie, but… right now, I go by Eric,” he said.
At this point another cop shows up, and they continue to question him together. I applaud the efforts of the police on this — they did a great job of not spooking him and just really tried to ask him how they could help him — not necessarily what you always see out of cops these days.
Eventually, Willie/Eric decided to accept the cops offer of a ride to a hospital. They cuffed him, and the second cop took him away.
They also asked him what he wanted to do about his car. He told the cops that he had lost the keys with his shoes down near the bank of the reservoir. After the second cop took Willie/Eric away, the first cop turned the homeless hitchhiker, who had been sitting silently on the bench the whole time.
“Can you stay here while I go down to look for the keys,” the cop asked him.
Speaking his first words of the whole ordeal, the homeless hitchhiker said so matter-of-factly, “I got an amputated foot. I ain’t going nowhere.”
So no matter how much you hate the review, depending on how much credit you want to give us, vista reviews may very well have saved a man’s life.